Given that due attention is finally being given to the scandal of children being encouraged to be ‘trans’ and put on the path of medical transition, it is surely time for some accountability from those organisations who have specifically advocated for youth transition. Let’s start with Dentons which co-sponsored (with Thomson Reuters*) and prepared the report “ONLY ADULTS? GOOD PRACTICES IN LEGAL GENDER RECOGNITION FOR YOUTH” published in 2019.
Dentons is the biggest law firm in the world with over 20,000 employees in 80 different countries The report advocates for the right of children to choose their ‘gender’ in both social and legal terms. “Allowing youth to change their gender marker is a human right” It also advocates the elimination of the minimum age for legal self ID. And it even proposes that “States should take action against parents who are obstructing the free development of a young trans person identity in refusing to give parental authorisation if required”.
Although it may seem surprising for a renowned top law firm to have a hand in such a controversial issue, law firms have been in the forefront of promoting the ideology of gender identity. Influencing law as well as policy is a cornerstone of the global activist movement and as an example law firms are regularly the most represented sector in the Stonewall Workplace Equality index. I wrote about the quest for legal recognition of gender identity here.
But it is quite extraordinary to produce a report like this which sets out tips for activists to establish gender identity as a legal category, specifically advocating for youth transition. Not surprisingly you will no longer find the report on Denton’s website given that the topic of youth and child transition is coming under increasing scrutiny both here and in other countries. One of the tips given to lobbyists in the report was to bypass public debate and this very nearly succeeded but thanks to women and specifically key feminists the public is now being informed about the consequences of gender identity ideology, particularly on children.
The Dentons report lists tips for activists, including the following:
- Target youth politicians. Reason given is that they are more likely to embrace the cause and repeat it often
- De-medicalise the campaign. The reason given for this is that the public do not like the thought of medicalising children and it puts them off supporting the transition of children. However the path to transition, as we know is in fact medical, starting with puberty blockers.
- Get ahead of the government agenda and the media story. In other words determine and establish the dominant discourse before the ideas are debated in society. The UK provides a good example. In the early years work went on behind the scenes to influence key sectors (Academia, NHS, Education, Media, Civil Service and the Judiciary) before most people had even heard of the words ‘gender identity’ and thought that trans only referred to a few thousand people. The first many people realised what was happening was in 2016 when proposals for changes in the Gender Recognition Act 2004, including Self ID were agreed and published by the Women and Equalities Select Committee (including by feminist Labour MP Jess Phillips). It is no coincidence that media giant Thomson Reuters is the co sponsor of this report. Media guidelines were introduced which included using people’s preferred pronouns and gender uncritically regardless of whether or not that person had transitioned. A secondary tip to this is;
- Campaigners are also warned to “avoid excessive press coverage and exposure”, because the “general public is not well informed about trans issues, and therefore misinterpretation can arise”. It describes how activists in Ireland “have directly lobbied individual politicians and tried to keep press coverage to a minimum in order to avoid this issue”.
- Use human rights as a campaign point. This has been key in the uncritical acceptance of the concept of gender identity. By influencing global human rights organisations the movement has avoided going through national equality and discrimination legal routes and the relevant national debates. The movement has been very successful in this by funding human rights conventions. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch adopted the Yogokarta Principles 2006 on gender identity. This conference which was originally planned for LGB people and then the T was added framed the arguments in terms of human rights and gender identity rather than equality and discrimination and transsexuals. No one would want to be accused of going against someone’s human rights or even question why it should be a human right if it is already stated as one. The report urged activists to “use human rights as a campaign point” because of the “political stigma of a human rights violation”.
- Tack it on to other reforms… so it gets lost in the main headline. In Ireland self ID was added on to the legalisation of homosexual marriage and succeeded in gaining legal recognition. “This provided a veil of protection, where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remained a more difficult issue to win public support for.’
- Avoid press coverage and exposure This avoids any close analysis, challenge and disagreement with the ideology. Indeed Mermaids, the children’s charity, is a recent example of failing to do this. It has been hoisted by its own petard as it brought a case against the charity LGB Alliance on the grounds that the Alliance was transphobic and undeserving of charitable status. This case has been heavily covered in the media, and the spotlight shifted onto Mermaids and now it is Mermaids which is being investigated for potential safeguarding concerns by the Charity Commission.
- Carpe Diem – take advantage of situations and get as much done as possible…capitalise on political momentum
- Work with other LGBT groups. And lastly
- Be wary of compromise.
This is one example of one large organisation using its power to influence and advocate for gender identity ideology. The masked blue haired youngsters shouting slogans outside women’s meetings may be the media image but they would never have been able to achieve the institutional and policy changes on the scale we have seen. This is an extremely well- funded global movement set on changing what we mean by being women and men in our society. That movement and its main players in the US are extremely well documented by Jennifer Bilek on her 11thHour Blog https://www.the11thhourblog.com/ . The veil of secrecy has been lifted and scrutiny into the main players here in the UK has started.
Several excellent pieces have been written about the Dentons report and can be found here:
Graham Lineham’s substack – an excellent detailed piece by @STILLTish who also has her own blog Gender Critical Woman and bringing the matter to wider public attention James Kirkup in the Spectator
* The other sponsor was Thomson Reuters, in collaboration with IGLYO. IGLYO – International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) Youth & Student Organisation (IGLYO) – is a network of 96 national and local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex groups